The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday 31 July 2008

LEJOG: The Distance

The route that I plotted to take us from Land’s End to John O’Groats, via the Lizard and Dunnet Head, was 1252 miles long.

Some of that route, when viewed on paper rather than on a 17” screen, didn’t make sense and some of it wasn’t feasible. Sometimes the route looked perfectly good on paper, but when we got there we found from the lie of the land that we could cut off a corner and omit some road walking. Barely a day passed when we didn’t make some modification.

I’ve just finished plotting the route that we actually walked.

The final ‘official’ mileage of 1240 wasn’t wildly different from the plan.

That of course is based on measuring OS maps using Anquet Mapping. I’m convinced that we actually walked further. Some of those paths alongside lochs are shown as very straight indeed. In reality they are not. Likewise where we went over pathless passes, we undoubtedly meandered more than I can reflect with a line on a map.

That’s not to mention the couple of occasions (in places where the navigation couldn’t have been easier or more obvious) we put our minds in neutral and found ourselves walking 180 degrees in the wrong direction – but I don’t think that we can really count those aberrations as part of our overall mileage!

1 comment:

  1. It will be interestting to see what Mark Moxon did too (he's a bit keen on the old statistics)

    So you were within 1% of your planned route - that's pretty good!My Planned mileage was 1663 miles but I finished up doing 1687 miles - that's an overrun of just 1.4%.

    I agree with you: Lord only knows how far you actually walked though - especially in Scotland when you are muddling your way over huge boggy bealachs and following lake shores!

    That way lies madness...